Open Educational Resources (OER)

This is a resource page for faculty interested in and currently using OER and zero textbook cost (ZTC) materials in their courses. Learn more about OER, training, resources, and funding opportunities here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using OER? 

OER are rooted in open education, the belief that high-quality education and information should be free of financial, legal, and technical barriers. Some benefits of OER include, 

  1. Students save money – OER, even when printed, significantly reduce textbook costs for students (achieving the dream . org).  
  2. Students learn more – Studies show that students who take courses using OER as the primary learning resource do just as well or better than students who take courses using traditional learning resources (opened group . org). 
  3. OER are customizable - Students learn more when the material they’re using is relevant and meaningful. OER give faculty the opportunity to customize their learning resources to the local environment. 
  4. Access is not dependent on a third-party platform or publisher - There are no limits on how long faculty or students can access OER. They can be easily stored, moved, or transferred. 

Adapted from SPARC, Open Education, and published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. 

What is the difference between OER and ZTC?

While both OER and ZTC materials lower costs for students, the primary difference between the two is the licensing that controls how you can use, adapt, and share the materials.

What are OER? 

"Open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work (traditionally excluding software, which is described by other terms like "open source") that is either, 

  1. in the public domain, or  
  1. licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities (retain, remix, revise, reuse, and redistribute). Typically, these permissions are designated by Creative Commons licenses

Adapted from Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources, written by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license

What are ZTC materials?  

Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) materials are anything that is free for students but not necessarily openly licensed. These include free web sources, such as YouTube videos and web articles without a paywall; library resources, such as eBooks, journal articles, LibGuides, videos on demand, and newspaper articles; and any content that you write yourself (unless you make it available under a CC license).

Free v. Open by Designers for Learning: Gain Experience for Good, Jennifer Maddrell, Director (CC, BY, NC, SA)

 

How do I indicate that I am using OER or ZTC in my classes?

If you are using OER or ZTC materials in your classes, you can indicate this using the My Bookstore App in Canvas. Follow the steps below to notify students that you are using OER/ZTC in your courses.

  1. Login to Canvas.
  2. Choose My Bookstore from the left side menu.
  3. Select the term.
  4. Select the "Only OER material is being used for this course" link for the course you are using OER/ZTC in.
  5. Your course will be designated ZTC (with the icon) in Self Service and appear in the Classes with Free Textbook list in WebAdvisor.

Where can I find OER?

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of OER repositories. We’ve included a few of the most prominent here. If you have questions about where to search for materials for a specific course or subject area, contact your OER liaison.

Where can I learn more about OER?

  • The ASCCC OERI regularly offers live webinars as well as an archive of webinar recordings. 
  • ISKME / OERCommons offers free training for educators, including webinars, self-paced activities and labs, and readings. 
  • Contact an OER Area Lead. Area Leads for the 2022-23 academic year:
    • Amanda Mason, Communication
    • David Yang, Math
    • Lydia Anderson, Business/Accounting
    • Sally Potter, English, EMLS
    • Seth Yates, Chemistry
    • Susan MacLeod, Biology
    • Susana Sosa, Art/Art History
  • Contact FCC’s OER liaison to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Linda Kobashigawa, Library, linda.kobashigawa@fresnocitycollege.edu or Sally Potter, EMLS/Linguistics, sally.potter@fresnocitycollege.edu

Mythbusting Open Educational Resources

Read this short article from the ASCCC dispelling some common misconceptions about OER. 

Join the OER Workgroup

The goal of the OER Workgroup is to increase awareness and usage of OER at FCC. The Workgroup meets once a month to discuss opportunities related to how to support faculty interested in and currently using, adapting, and creating OER, and exploring the use of OER in closing equity gaps.

If you are interested in joining the OER Workgroup contact linda.kobashigawa@fresnocitycollege.edu.

Become an OER Area Lead

OER Area Leads work to increase awareness and adoption of OER, Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC), and Low Textbook Cost (LTC) use among faculty in their discipline and division. Contact Sally Potter for more information.

OER Award Program

Awards for the OER Award Program were expended in the 2021-22 academic year. Please stay tuned as there may be additional funding opportunities coming in 2023.

Overview

The OER Award Program will continue in Spring 2022! Application period begins on January 10, 2022.

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are copyright-free (public domain) or have been released under an open license that permits others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. Examples of OER include: open textbooks, videos, images, course modules, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, games, simulations, and other resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

The primary goal of FCC’s OER Award Program is to reduce educational costs for students by providing free or low-cost learning materials that are available from day one of their class. Various studies[1] show that providing such materials to students and eliminating the barrier of high textbook cost is one factor that contributes to higher retention rates, higher grades, and fewer Ds, Fs, and Withdrawals, especially in minoritized student populations. Widespread adoption of OER is one piece of the student success puzzle. A secondary goal of the Award Program is to promote the adoption of open pedagogy, which refers to the practice of engaging students with materials designed specifically for their needs and bringing them into the creation process. This practice of deeper engagement with course materials allows instructors to customize material specifically for their students’ needs, allowing them to embed equity and Universal Design for Learning directly into their courses.

In summary, COVID 19 and the ongoing pandemic has created a need for faculty to provide students with greater access to low cost or zero cost textbooks, materials, and resources. In order to accomplish this, faculty need time and funding to research available materials, adapt those materials to their own courses and create materials where none are available. The college does not have the funding to invest in this necessary support for our students. Using CARES funding will provide faculty with the support they need to develop and create the resources that will support our students and lead to improved outcomes. 

OER Award Program

In order to increase OER course adoptions and encourage teaching faculty exploration and innovation in finding new, better, and less costly ways to deliver quality learning materials to students, the College is providing incentives for teaching faculty to convert courses currently using traditional textbooks to use OER material. In addition to supporting adoption of OER by individual teaching faculty, the award especially encourages scaling of OER adoptions across all course sections in order to impact a significant number of students. It is noteworthy that:

  • $80,000 would be available to support faculty adapting, adopting, or authoring OER materials for courses beginning in Fall 2022.
  • Faculty will be paid hourly Schedule B lab rate.
  • All awardees must utilize materials associated with awards in teaching assignments for two academic semesters starting Fall 2022.
  • The costs for a printed version of the resulting OER materials cannot exceed $40 in order to be eligible.
  • Faculty may only receive one award per course.
  • The initial determination regarding approval of OER Award applications shall be made by the OER Award Program Workgroup. In the event that an applicant disagrees with a determination not to approve an award or the amount of an approved award, the applicant may submit a written appeal to the Vice President of Instruction, detailing the basis for disagreement. The Vice President of Instruction shall make the final determination.

This award is available to all teaching faculty (adjuncts and full-time) at Fresno City College. Individuals, teams, and departments/programs are encouraged to work together for a unified adoption of OER for each course.

Timeline

  • Application period opens January 10, 2022
  • Proposals due January 28 by midnight
  • OER Award Program Workgroup review of proposals January 29-February 4
  • Awardees notified February 4
  • Mandatory Orientation February 7-11
  • Midpoint check-ins March 28 - April 8
  • Materials used in course(s) beginning Fall 2022 - Spring 2023
  • Materials published by Spring 2023

OER Award Program, Fresno City College pilot award is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and was adapted from Lansing Community College Library's Research Guide on Open Educational Resources (OER). Edited by Denise Warner (2021); edited by Amy Larson, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on design by Regina Gong.

[1] Colvard, Nicholas B., et al. “The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success Metrics.” International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, vol. 30, no. 2, 2018, pp. 262–276., www.isetl.org/ijtlhe/pdf/IJTLHE3386.pdf.

Category 1:  Adoption of Existing OER Material:

  • Adopt Level 1– This includes the identification of existing OER materials that would be suitable for the course under consideration; reviewing those materials to ensure they are in line with course outcomes and student success, and have the quality and rigor to maintain the integrity of the course; and selecting and adopting the OER Material.
    • The maximum award for Adopt Level 1 is *15-25 hours per Faculty. The OER Award Program Workgroup will approve the amount of award.
  • Adopt Level 2 – This includes teaching faculty who adopt the OER material proposed in Adopt Level 1 by other faculty or adopt OER material currently existing for Fresno City College courses.
    • The amount eligible for Adopt Level 2 is up to *10 hours per teaching faculty per course.

Category 2:  Revision or Remix of Existing OER Material and/or Creating New Supplement Material:

Revise or remix results in new OER Material.  Examples of this would include editing existing chapters, adding new materials from other sources, removing sections not appropriate, bringing together several openly licensed sources. 

Creating New Supplemental Materials to augment an adopted OER also results in new OER material.  Examples of this would include creating test banks, PowerPoint presentations, videos, images, lectures, lab manuals, and other supplemental materials. 

  • Revise/Remix Level 1– This includes the work involved with revising, remixing, or creating new supplemental materials that would be suitable for the course under consideration and adopting and using the newly created OER Material(s).
    • The amount eligible for the OER Award Program Revise/Remix Level 1 is up to *35-65 hours per faculty. The OER Award Program Workgroup will approve the amount of award.
  • Revise/Remix Level 2 – This includes teaching faculty who adopt the newly created OER material(s) created in Revise/Remix Level 1 by other faculty.
    • The amount eligible for Revise/Remix Level 2 adoption is up to *15 hours per teaching faculty per course.

Category 3:  Creation and Development of New OER Material(s)

Create substantially new OER material where it is demonstrated that quality OER resources are not currently available to meet learning objectives.

  • Creation and Development Level 1 – This includes the work involved in writing, developing, creating open textbooks and, if applicable, accompanying supplemental materials such as test banks, PowerPoint presentations, videos, images, lectures, lab manuals, and other supplemental materials.
    • The amount eligible for OER Creation and Development Level 1 is up to *45-125 per faculty.  The OER Award Program Workgroup will approve the amount of award.
  • Creation and Development Level 2 - This includes teaching faculty who adopt the newly created OER material(s) in Creation and Development Level 1 by other faculty. 
    • The amount eligible for Creation and Development Level 2 is up to *15 hours per teaching faculty per course.

Application Form and Submission

The application period begins on January 10 and ends on January 28, 2022. No late applications will be accepted.

The OER Award Program Workgroup will determine the number of applications approved and awarded in each round based on the quality of the application, the commitment to OER, expansion to other sections, feasibility of the project, and the amount of award funding available.

Awardees will be notified February 4, 2022.

Eligibility

  • Adjunct and full-time teaching faculty are eligible to submit an application under any category.
  • Teaching faculty may submit multiple applications for multiple courses.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Category 1:  Adoption of Existing OER Material:

  • Replacement of a traditional textbook with OER. After the project, the costs for printed version of resulting OER materials cannot exceed $40, with a lower cost preferred.
  • Expertise in the course content.
  • Project narrative and goals clearly defined.
  • Timeline of project plan and implementation.
  • Documented level of support for adoption of the new OER material(s) by the proposing teaching faculty member and those teaching other sections.
  • Commitment to complete a faculty survey and assist in administering a student survey of the OER material adopted.
  • Analysis of anticipated cost savings to students.

Category 2 and 3:  Revision or Remix of Existing OER Material and/or Creating New Supplement Material and Creation and Development of New OER Material(s)

  • Replacement of a traditional textbook with creation of a new OER content through revise/remix process. After the project, the costs for printed version of resulting OER textbook materials cannot exceed $40, with a lower cost preferred. Or,
  • Creation of supplemental materials to augment existing OER Content. All supplemental materials must be uploaded and made available to students when appropriate. 
  • Creation and development of new supplemental OER material(s).
  • Expertise in course content.
  • Experience in developing supplemental course materials preferred.
  • Project narrative and goals clearly defined.
  • Timeline of publishing plan and implementation.
  • Documented level of support for adoption of the new OER material(s) by the proposing Faculty member and those teaching other sections.
  • Plan for updating and keeping course material current.
  • Commitment to complete a faculty survey and assist in administering a student survey of the OER material adopted.
  • Analysis of anticipated cost savings to students.

Participation Requirements

If selected, awardees will commit to the following:

  • Attendance at a required kick-off training/implementation meeting designed to help finalize project implementation plans, share best practices and address barriers to success.
  • Participate in an OER training self-paced canvas course designed to help faculty understand appropriate OER that they can adopt, revise, remix, open licensing basics, publishing, accessibility, or other professional development activities.
  • Awardees under Category 2 and Category 3, Level 1: Revision or Remix of Existing OER Material and/or Creating New Supplement Material and Creation and Development of a New OER Material(s) will keep basic logs of activity for work related to the award.
  • Teach the course using OER in all assigned sections for at least two academic semesters.
  • Submit a mid-project status report to the OER Award Program Workgroup.
  • Successfully implement proposed publishing plan and meet student cost saving goals.
  • Complete a faculty survey and assist in administering a student survey of the quality of OER material adopted. Submit survey results to the OER Award Program Workgroup.
  • All work produced will be shared under an open Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license and will be made accessible to the public.

Checklists and Support for Awardees

Category 1 Checklist:

  • Attend kick-off meeting training/implementation meeting
  • Complete module 1 of the FCC OER Self-Paced Canvas Course
  • Submit implementation plan
  • Participate in mid-project check-in with OER Workgroup and Program Coordinator (pre-requisite for first time sheet)
  • Complete faculty survey
  • Assist in administering student survey

Category 2 Checklist:

  • Attend kick-off meeting training/implementation meeting
  • Watch ASCCC OERI video “Introduction to CC Licenses”
  • Complete all modules of the FCC OER Self-Paced Canvas Course
  • Watch ASCCC OERI video “Accessibility Basics”
  • Run Microsoft Word document Accessibility Checker, or appropriate software, and fix errors
  • Submit publishing plan
  • Participate in mid-project check-in with OER Workgroup and Program Coordinator (pre-requisite for first time sheet)
  • Identify faculty peer for proof-reading
  • Submit final draft to faculty peer for proof-reading
  • Complete faculty survey
  • Assist in administering student survey
  • Publish course materials

Category 3 Checklist:

  • Attend kick-off meeting training/implementation meeting
  • Watch ASCCC OERI video “Introduction to CC Licenses”
  • Complete module 1 of the FCC OER Self-Paced Canvas Course
  • Watch ASCCC OERI video “Accessibility Basics”
  • Complete the @One Self-Paced Microsoft Word Accessibility Course
  • Run Microsoft Word document Accessibility Checker, or appropriate software, and fix errors
  • Submit publishing plan
  • Participate in mid-project check-in with OER Workgroup and Program Coordinator (pre-requisite for first time sheet)
  • Identify faculty peer for proof-reading
  • Submit final draft to faculty peer for proof-reading
  • Complete faculty survey
  • Assist in administering student survey
  • Publish course materials

Support for Awardees

The College will provide the awardees with the needed support to help develop and implement their projects through workshops and self-paced training modules such as but not limited to:

  • OER discovery and curation
  • Kickoff webinar – Review of awardee requirements, awardee support services, program timeline, and next steps
  • Accessibility training and assistance
  • Publishing options